Families awarded damages by Japanese court over schoolbus that drove into tsunami
Tuesday 17 September 2013
A court in Japan has awarded 270 million yen (£1.7m) to parents of four children killed when their nursery school bus carried them into the path of the March 2011 tsunami.
The ruling by the Sendai District Court is the first to award damages over deaths resulting from the disaster, which claimed more than 18,000 lives.
The bus from Hiyori Kindergarten in Ishinomaki City, which lost nearly 6,000 residents in the disaster, took a seaside road to ferry 12 children home, after a tsunami warning to avoid coastal areas had been issued.
Seven children had been dropped off before the bus was hit by the tsunami, killing the five remaining children and the driver.
The kindergarten itself was on high ground, 75ft (23m) above sea level, and the children would have survived if they had remained there. Staff at the kindergarten reported that disaster drills, which are standard practice at Japanese schools, had not been conducted.
Lawyers for the private kindergarten’s parent company, Hasegawa Gakuin, claimed that the head teacher who sent the bus on its usual route couldn’t have known that such a large tsunami would strike. However, the presiding judge, Norio Saiki, ruled that the kindergarten staff should have expected a tsunami after such a massive earthquake had just occurred.
“The kindergarten head failed to collect information and sent the bus seaward, which resulted in the loss of the children’s lives,” said Judge Saiki in his judgement.
The families of four of the children had asked for 270 million yen (£1.7m) in their suit, which was filed in August 2011. There are currently eight damages suits against the operators of businesses and other facilities in the disaster-affected areas working their way through Japan’s notoriously slow-moving legal system.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Ottawa shootings: Terror strikes Canadian capital as attacks leave one soldier and one suspect dead
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are looking for Founda...
Main Teacher Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: Teacher of Psychology An en...
competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: A global entertainment busi...
£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: This new opportunity has responsibilities des...